About 4 years ago when I was living in London I was preparing to return home to Australia for Christmas. I decided before I travelled that I would get a new haircut so that I could feel good about myself for the trip. However, what was a routine haircut fast turned into a nightmare when a rather young and inexperienced hairdresser went against my wishes and clumsily chopped off way too much hair. I was devastated, and I’m not ashamed to say that I cried.
Having grown up within a hairdressing family I had come to more clearly understand the side of the hairdresser in these types of situations and had never before found myself in the position of the dissatisfied customer.
Previously, when I had heard of similar nightmare haircuts from friends I had thought to myself that hair is just hair and that it’s no big deal if too much is cut off as it will grow back. But in that moment when I looked in the mirror at my lopped locks, it very much felt like a big deal. It felt like I had been violated somehow. I did not want to let it go and I most definitely was not ready to move on!
What I have come to realise since, as I have processed this traumatic experience, is how much investment, as a woman, I had placed on my looks and how that determined both how I felt about myself and how I interacted with others. I felt like my world had ended, but not because my hair was too short, but because I felt that in losing the length I, in some way, had been robbed of my femininity and my expression of it. As a result, my self-esteem and self-worth took a tremendous blow.
I didn’t realise at the time, but in an attempt to not truly acknowledge what was being presented here for me to feel into and heal, I covered up the hurt I felt by making a conscious commitment to grow my hair as long as I possibly could.
Because the decision to grow my hair was coming from a place of reaction to the deep hurt I felt of me not claiming my true and unwavering femininity in full, growing my hair was then loaded with an unconscious ideal that long hair meant I was feminine, protected, and in control of my expression as a woman.
During the following years, I barely cut my hair at all, choosing instead to get a trim only once a year to keep it looking somewhat healthy. I was happy with how it looked and I felt a sense of pride and satisfaction as it grew longer and longer. Friends and colleagues at work began to remark on how lovely it looked and how long it had gotten and I started to feel a deeper sense of femininity and self-worth the longer it grew.
I was so wrapped up in the identification of growing it – however, I started to feel an uneasy sense of being identified by my hair. Wasn’t there more to feeling my sense of self worth than through the act of growing my hair long?
Interestingly, after a series of life changing shifts began to occur in the way that I see myself and my relationships through the support and encouragement of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine practitioners, it came as a complete surprise to me when I began to have daydreams about cutting my hair off short.
I know that I can be quite impulsive sometimes so I kept thinking that the feelings would pass, but they didn’t, so I started researching new hair styles and looking at the latest trends and they all seemed to be shorter, much shorter, than my long hair. After sharing around a picture of my ideal hairstyle to my partner, girlfriends and family and receiving an unanimous thumbs up, I decided that the time was right for me to have my hair cut again.
I made an appointment with the hairdresser and when it came time to cut my hair, I was astonished that a similar set of circumstances to the time in London quickly unfolded. Despite discussing the plan for the haircut explicitly, I once again was left feeling as though my hair had been cut way too short and all of the old feelings came flooding back.
I felt that once again my femininity and expression as a woman had been compromised. I was devastated – way more devastated than the previous time it had occurred. However, this time I felt that I had much more support and many more tools to help me feel into the real issue trying to get my attention.
I had to come to terms with the fact that it wasn’t about the hair, although it was tough to not fall victim to that way of thinking when aesthetically, I wasn’t happy with the look. When I really took the time to feel deeply into what was coming up for me to look at, yet again, I realised I was making my expression as a woman, my styling, hair and make-up and how I am perceived as a result of that outward expression, the source of my true value.
Basically, I had been outsourcing my worth! I wasn’t owning my femininity and claiming it in full as something that is always inherently within me, regardless of how the outer shell appears.
Feeling into this nugget of truth was incredible and an amazing thing to nominate and let go of. It is truly astonishing how opportunities like this present themselves, then present again until we are ready to go there. I missed the opportunity to feel more into this the first time in London, but by nature of the cyclical world that we live in, I was given another chance at going there.
I now have been able to see these haircuts for the truly amazing blessings that they are and how they have been a bridge to build a deeper relationship with myself and claim my beauty and amazingness as a woman from within first. I’m not totally unattached to the outer just yet, but I have made some amazing inroads and my awareness will help me continue down the path.
There is meaning and the potential to heal behind every obstacle we face; if we trust ourselves enough to feel and see them for the true blessings they are, amazing changes can occur.
By Megan Cairney, Brisbane